NATO says a U.S. soldier killed a British Broadcasting Corporation reporter during an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan after mistaking him for a suicide bomber.
Ahmed Omed Khpulwak and 18 others were killed July 28 when a group of suicide bombers and gunmen attacked several government buildings in Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province. Afghan forces repelled the assault with the help of the international coalition.
On Thursday, NATO released the findings of its probe into Khpulwak's death and said the BBC reporter was killed in a case of mistaken identity.
The coalition says an American soldier shot and killed Khpulwak thinking he was an insurgent about to detonate a suicide vest.
NATO said the coalition service member involved in the incident had complied with the laws of armed conflict and "acted reasonably" under the circumstances.
NATO expressed its condolences to Khpulwak's family. The 25-year-old reporter also worked for the Pajhwok Afghan news agency.
NATO says Khpulwak was killed as U.S. forces began clearing the Radio Television Afghanistan building of insurgents during the July 28 attack in Tarin Kot. The troops thought Khpulwak was firing shots at them, and NATO says a U.S. soldier, who moved closer, saw a young adult male reach for something that was thought to be a bomb. The soldier shot the man. NATO later discovered that Khpulwak was unarmed.
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, ordered the investigation into Khpulwak's death at the urging of the BBC, which said there were "conflicting reports" about who shot and killed the reporter.
In response to the coalition's findings, the director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks, said the NATO probe ended a period of uncertainty, but that the broadcast network would study full details of the report.
Horrocks also said Khpulwak's death further highlights the "great dangers facing journalists who put their lives on the line to provide vital news from around the world."
The Committee to Protect Journalists says 26 journalists have been killed around the world so far this year.
Separately on Thursday, NATO said a bomb blast killed two of its service members in southern Afghanistan.
Also Thursday, Afghan officials say a roadside bomb killed a Turkish engineer working on a project in Herat province.
Another roadside bomb killed five Afghan soldiers in the eastern province of Khost on Wednesday.